Becoming an American

In the Becoming an American segment, we saw a glimpse into just how much immigration effects peoples’ health.  Simply coming to this country has negative effects for immigrants’ health. Some causes for these effects are both simply the American lifestyle and barriers to immigrants that exist within our healthcare system.  Actually, Latino immigrants had the best health and lowest rates of disease and death. They even had better health than some of the wealthier segments of society. Apparently, it’s because they have extremely strong family ties and social support systems. The customs that they bring with them to this country actually help their health outcomes. In this country, social isolation is on the rise and it has negative health effects.  For instance, after 5 years of being in this country, immigrants are 20 percent more likely to have heart disease and become obese. The longer that people are here, the more discrimination they face, the more stress of jobs, and the more exposures to unhealthy environments. The most startling fact was that the longer you stay in your country of origin, you are more likely to have a psychiatric illness. Therefore, once we need to pay particular attention to minors who immigrate to this country. Especially since ¼ of the country may be Latino in 50 years, therefore wellbeing needs to be a priority.  With this, I think that we need to take a step back and listen to other cultures and see what we can learn for them.

Regarding in class material, I’m wondering about how Lia’s situation would have been if the doctors had taken a second to listen to the Lee’s and see where they were coming from.  Perhaps if the doctors had taken some cues from the Lees then maybe things would be different. I think the issue comes in when the West doesn’t put its arrogance on the shelf and understand that sometimes we may not know what we don’t know.

Published by